HeritageTrail / Kolkata
It was first built in 1770 and served as the headquarters of the"writers" or junior servants of the East India Company. Today, therefurbished Writers' Building is the seat of the West Bengal government secretariat. It'ssituated in BBD Bag - a city square named after three martyrs of the freedommovement.
General Post Office
If you're a history buff, and go hunting for the site of the Black Holeincident, your search will lead you to the General Post Office in BBD Bag.Built in 1868, GPO, as it is known to every Calcuttan,stands on part of the original Fort William, and provides no hint of its murkypast. Do check out the Postal Museum inside!
During the early days of British rule, when Calcutta was the capital of BritishIndia, Raj Bhavan was theofficial residence of the Viceroys. The sprawling estate surrounding thebuilding, like the Bhavan itself, are well over 200years old and now house the Governor of West Bengal. It's a must-see if you'rein the Esplanade East area.
Built in 1828 in honor of Sir David Ochterlony wholed the British forces to victory in the Nepalese wars, the ShahidMinar - literally meaning Martyrs' Monument - issituated in the northern part of the green belt of Calcutta called the Maidan. The base of the monument is Egyptian, the columnSyrian and the crown, a Turkish cupola.
If the name Ranji Cricket Stadium evokes no response, just ask any Calcuttan for the Eden Gardens. It's synonymous with goodcricket and with a capacity of 90,000, is among the top cricketing stadiums inthe world. The Eden Gardens complex is also home to the Netaji Subhash Chandra BoseIndoor stadium.
One of the oldest museums in Asia, the Indian Museum was founded in 1814.You'll need an entire day, or more, to fully enjoy the fossils, coins, stones, Gandhara art, meteors and much more that go to make up thismuseum. Don't miss the 4,000-year-old mummy here, whatever else you do! Also ondisplay is an urn said to contain the Buddha's ashes. Just askanybody on the road for the way to the "Jadughar"(literally, house of magic).
Timings: 10 am-5 pm, Tuesday-Sunday (Between March and November); 10 am -4.30pm, Tuesday-Sunday (Between December and February)
This was home to the first modern museum in Asia, set up as far back as 1814.However, most of those exhibits have now been moved to the Indian Museum. Asmall collection remains - do check out the rareTibetan thangkas, and the AshokanRock Edict, dating back to the ages of King Ashoka!
Timings: 8 am-7 pm, Monday-Friday
The rambling Thakurbari was built in the 18th centuryby Dwarkanath Tagore, thegrandfather of Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore. This is also the place where Rabindranathwas born and passed away. The Thakurbari has mostlybeen converted into a museum now. The Rabindra Bharati University is also situated inside thiscomplex.
No visit to Calcutta is complete without experiencingthe Durga Puja at the Shovabazar Rajbari. The Rajbari's tradition of publicly celebrating the festivalgoes back to 1757, to the time of Raja NobokishanDeb. The first puja was held to celebrate the victoryof Lord Robert Clive in the Battle of Plassey.
Conceived by Lord Curzon in 1905, the marble monumentblends the best of British and Mughal architecture. Atour through the Memorial is a great way of reliving the grandeur ofimperial-era Britain. The Victoria Memorial is afavorite not just with tourists in Calcutta - its sprawling grounds aresynonymous with love nests for the young and restless in the city.
Timings: 10 am-3.30 pm, Tuesday-Sunday (Between November and February); 10 am-4.30 pm,Tuesday-Sunday (Between March and October)
For that rare book, that manuscript you've only read about, or the documentyou've been dying to check out, National Library is the place to go to in Calcutta. Located within the Belvedere Housecompound, the institution is the largest of its kind in India. It is home to nearly 1,800,000books and documents.
Timings: 9 am-8 pm, Monday-Friday; 9.30 am-6 pm, Saturday-Sunday
Built on the banks of the river Hooghly, the Fort derives its name fromKing William III. A military area till this day, Fort William is easier to visit if you knowsomeone in the Armed Forces. Prior permission from the Commanding Officer canget you access to a tour of the Arsenal.
Situated on Muktaram Babu Street, the Marble Palace houses a collection of Oriental andWestern artifacts. It was built in 1835 by Raja RajendraMullick Bahadur. The palacehas gone down in legend as the place where urchins and destitutesused to queue up every day as the guards handed out food and money, till alimit of 4000 people per day was reached!
Timings: 10 am-4 pm, Tuesday, Wednesday Friday, Sunday
St John's Church
This church is over 200 years old, about 175 feet high, and stands proud amidthe bustle of BBD Bag. The architecture is mainly Greek. You can drop by at thischurch after a visit to the nearby Raj Bhavan. Do remember to visit the mausoleum of Job Charnock, the founder of Calcutta, in the cemetery here.